What a week!

I  word counted my novel, and I have too many words! I never thought I’d end up with more than 120,000 of the little buggers. Uh-oh.

What should I cut? What are the parameters for cutting? (Back to HTRYN directions.) How long should a debut space opera novel be, anyway? Should I play the game in my query letter and follow the rules set by publishers? Could I divide my monster into two books? Is self-publishing an option?

Honestly, I did think about all this when I started the novel, I really did.  According to my plan, I estimated I’d barely make 100,000. Because my writing is so lean, I sold myself short. Keeping the balls in the air, chapter to chapter, page to page, and scene to scene obliterated all but the most immediate problems from my frazzled mind.

Panic overwhelmed me, but TX from the HTRYN forum  comforted me with an upbeat and encouraging discussion about agents, editors, and publishers. I’ve made my decision, and now I’m working revision again. Turns out it’s not as bad as I thought, and there’s something reassuring about writing tight and struggling to cut. I’m telling the story with grace and clarity. I am where I want to be as a rookie writer.

Sort of.

How about you, fellow Word Wizards? Are you over or under, or do you care?


  1. I’m a little shy of my expected word count of 80,000. but i know i have a few scenes to add come revision time.
    as far as some advice to you goes….go into your revision with a big knife and be brutal with yoru story. i’d rather have a book be a little lean than overstuffed

  2. Sounds as if you’re doing great there. It’s always good to be where you want to be!

    I’m very short of words (do ya want to send some over? :D) but today I realised there are a number of vestigial scenes. If I need to expand that’s where the expansion can be. I tend to sketch out a story in words and it probably needs bulking up here and there. Thought I’d have to invent a whole new sub-plot but after today, that’s probably not needed.

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